Suicide is a troubling topic that most of us would rather not deal with, but suicide is a reality, and it is more common than we would like to think.
Many times suicidal actions are a desperate "cry for help" and many suicides can be prevented. By paying attention to warning signs and talking about the "unthinkable," you may be able to prevent a death.
Most people who attempt suicide are ambivalent about taking their own life, however circumstances make them feel that life is unbearable. Suicide seems like the only way to deal with their problems because they have an extreme sense of hopelessness, helplessness and depression.
Some of the factors that may lead a person to attempt suicide are:
Some people who kill themselves do not give any warning at all. Many, however, offer clues and communicate their plans to others. Individuals expressing suicidal intentions should always be taken seriously.
Some of the signs to look out for are:
Threats that may signal imminent danger often come from people who are isolated, who have attempted suicide before (and then were discovered only by accident), are impulsive, and have access to lethal means (weapons, drugs).
Suicide is a taboo subject yet talking about it openly is helpful. A person contemplating suicide needs the support of people who listen and care. If you are concerned that someone you know may be suicidal, take action:
It may seem like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and asking others for help and discussing your feelings can seem like a daunting task. If you reach out however, you will discover that there is help and that you are not alone. Many people have felt suicidal when facing difficult times and have survived, returning to normal lives.
If you have these feelings you should:
Remember you are not alone. Reaching out for help and knowing where to go for positive support can prevent a tragedy. You may want to contact your family physician, the CMHA, Ontario Division toll free at 1-800-875-6213, your spiritual advisor, the local crisis intervention centre or the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario at (416) 486-8046.